Since there were some questions about the play rug I made for my kids, I thought I would go into a little more detail in a separate post.
I lucked into a copy of Jan Messent’s Knit a Fantasy Story last year at a rummage sale. Since then I’ve seen these farm rugs in Waldorf blogs and other websites. I used the general concept from the book, with my own changes (because I seem to be unable to follow a pattern of any kind and must make half of it up as I go along). I didn’t use a pattern, but simply took the general idea from the book and drew freeform shapes on the canvas.
The base of the rug is latch hook canvas. I did a little latch hooking (the yellow “wheat” at the top left and the bluish bushes at bottom right), but that became overly time-consuming, so I switched to embroidery/needlepoint (not sure what to call it really since it’s such a mashup) and crochet. I gauged the size of the crocheted areas by eye, and sewed the completed shapes onto the canvas.
The pond and the dark brown “pigsty” at the upper left are pieces of felt sewn onto the canvas base. Actually SillyBilly sewed on the brown felt himself! (This was a gift for the kids, but not really a surprise gift. Over the last year, every once in a while he would remember it and ask me when I was going to finish.) The stream is embroidered yarn, and the tiny brown turtle island in the pond is a small crocheted disk.
I made the vegetable garden with freeform crocheted “cabbages” and “leeks, lettuce, and celery” made from bits of ribbon sewn on in strips or loops. In a similar freeform manner, I crocheted the little berry bush by the pond with green yarn, and then knotted on red yarn for berries.
The big gray and white area on the lower left is supposed to be a cobblestone farmyard. I haven’t gotten around to making any farm buildings yet like the ones in the book.
After I completed the scene I bound the whole thing with rug binding, and sewed a piece of lightweight denim onto the back. I then embroidered “For D + R By Mama 2007” on the back. (D + R being code for SillyBilly and Napoleona, of course.)
I have an idea for making trees, which is the main thing I think this lacks. (You might be able to see the side of a wooden evergreen tree at the upper right, surrounded by wooden forest animals.) The idea given in the book for using a toilet paper roll insert and a pompom top to make a tree just sounds too flimsy and top heavy.
Amazingly, now that it’s done it seems too small, even though it seemed enormous while I was making it. Maybe we just have too many animal figures! But the kids really seem to like it, and I’m glad they’re playing with their animals again after they went out of favor for so long.
Of course, what I really want to do is make the knitted castle on the cover of the book! But I have the feeling that’s a very long term goal. I’m a much slower knitter than crocheter, and it seems like knitting would be better for the smooth castle walls.